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brass clarinet classical dark electronic orchestral resubmission strings
Arranging the music of one song...

"Lockjaw's Saga (Lockjaw's Locker)"

Primary Game: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, 1995, SNES), music by David Wise

Posted 2010-09-15, evaluated by the judges panel


First off, congrats to all who entered Capcom's remix contest for Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 - but especially the OC ReMixers! AE and Prince of Darkness basically tied & will both have their tracks included in the actual game, which is quite badass, but they also had some stiff competition from the likes of Mazedude and several other talented musicians. Kudos to all, and special thanks to Capcom for doing this sort of thing!

Now then, on to the music... Serious Monkey Business had a LOT of great tracks on it, far more than could fit in the debut flood, so you'll be seeing them pop up here and there for the next several months as we work through the queue; even if you've already commented on the album and mentioned each mix, I'm sure artists would appreciate the additional feedback & comments on the mix-specific discussion thread, so do chime in. And for the newcomers who are just joining us, each posted mix will hopefully serve as a great introduction to a diverse & enjoyable album that EVERYONE should check out. And I'm not just saying that because I've got two tracks on it!

In this case, we've got Chris Roman, aka Hemophiliac, with his first posted mix this year, a tight, suspenseful orchestral arrangement. Project co-director Bahamut writes:

"Chris provided us with an orchestral/electronic hybrid for Lockjaw's Locker, using the orchestration to set a calm but tense atmosphere. The song's progression from this initial state to the hurried state towards the second half of the song captures this element from the original greatly, preserving the core aspect that many find alluring."

Chris himself writes:

"For this remix, I was heavily inspired by a track from the anime Gurren Lagann called "Baf baf! Sonna ni moeru no ga...Suki kai?" I used a similar style and structure to the piece. Orchestral opening building to a break into a gated synth/more percussion driven section. Along with my own flavors added piano and orchestral based percussion rather then electronic based. Getting some of the parts to work right really had me pulling my hair out at times. Enjoy."

Hemo's hair loss is our gain, in this instance; solo winds weave around a dark & ominous cloud until epic drums enter at 0'48", along with brass and running strings. Piano later takes over, and choral elements add height, but electronic elements remain relatively subdued. From Chris' description I was expecting more of a hybrid track, but this is far more orchestral, with synths adding unexpected bite & texture at times but never surpassing minority share of the instrumentation. Which is fine, by the way - in some ways, it's more refreshing to see electronic textures used more sparingly in an orchestral setting, because most folks, including myself, always aim for more of a balance. When you think about it, there's no inherent reason such a balance is always required, and I like the surprising & subtle way Chris approached things here. BGC writes:

"One thing I noticed Chris is doing from the start that scores points is automating dynamics on his parts. Even with less than super-epic-quality strings, it adds a substantial amount of emotive power to the track. Right around 2:00 is just epic. I'm gonna be looping this one. Awesome work! My vote is the best, mayne. $5 says DJP quotes it in the writeup."

Someone owes Jimmy five bucks, apparently. Some of the sustained, higher-pitch strings towards the end made me a little uncomfortable, but I dig that Hemo has his own sound and tries riskier concepts, and I think it pays off. Striking good stuff!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Bahamut
on 2012-07-04 14:40:49

I love the sense of progression that this track has, appearing front and center in the song. It is unique in that way with its structure in Serious Monkey Business, and is probably the biggest draw of the song for me. Chris did a great job with this song I feel, and captures some suspense with his approach to it.

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Mirby
on 2011-12-25 08:33:25

This song captures the feeling of being trapped quite well, something that can happen in the stages in which the source plays. It's very well done, and a take on the mix I really enjoy.

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Rexy
on 2011-12-07 03:01:07

Lockjaw's Saga. One of my fave tracks off DKC2 if mostly for the claustrophobic nature behind the track.

So the track starts of pretty gentle with some strong clarinet work before working its way into a Graylightning-ish affair with the arrangement. It's hard to make out the source the first few listens, but if you listen carefully a lot of the elements was based around the low horn part of the original, which managed to set itself up in regards to structure. Credit where credit is due for the synth-work - gives in that Harry Gregson-Williams type affair to the track. Excellent work.

The samples have also been handled decently and appropriate to Hemo's vision. One thing I might recommend though would be to watch the strings; it doesn't seem to be the strongest component in a good portion of your arrangements to date, and by manipulating the filters somewhat particularly in fields of decay and sustain, they would sound somewhat more lifelike rather than having this straight expression to them.

But overall, a more arrangement-experimental track, and it's something that manages to pay off in the scope of the Serious Monkey Business album. And in solo effort form too, so that's a major achievement there Hemo! Hopefully you'll keep contributing to the site however you can :)

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Emunator
on 2010-12-09 11:50:24

That synth... damn, that feels so inspired. It really helps build up the intensity of the track more than you might think it would. Of course, the rest of the track ain't bad either - it's pretty much exactly what I would have hoped for out of the first Lockjaw's Locker remix on the site. Intense, moody, and well-produced... what's not to love?

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Holy Land
on 2010-11-11 14:36:00

Lockjaw's Locker is one of my favorites too.

This mix certainly does it justice. Terrific atmosphere.

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UnveiledOsiris
on 2010-11-11 01:14:41

Lockjaw's Locker is "the" song of DKC2 for me. Whenever I think of that game, this song comes to mind. Now it's achieved an afterlife, brought back from the dead by Hemophiliac with all the foreboding and suspense that one can only imagine that the original would have realized had technology allowed it. Easily one of my favorite tunes from Serious Monkey Business.

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RECKENEFIN
on 2010-10-10 23:04:05

This is a great track. The opening definitely sets a tense mood, and the second part just lets all of the tension break loose. I normally am not a big fan of overt synth, but the use of it as almost an atmospherical accent works very well here. 2 thumbs up.

On a side note, and I'm not sure if it's just me, if it's a coincidence, or if it was planned, but when the percussion first comes in at 0:35 (I think), does that sound like the noise when you come across one of the barrels containing Diddy/Dixie? You know, the sound where they're pounding on the barrel trying to get out, usually followed by some monkey noises? If I'm not just imagining it, then that subtly yet awesomely adds to the sense of urgency of the piece.

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WannaPollkaLlama
on 2010-09-21 10:59:07

Man, :) epic job on this piece. I was listening to for the first time while working :) i played it on youtube and had clicked the link without paying attention to what game this came from. at about 1:00 to 1:10 where the drums Come in I was thinking "Man I wish somebody would do a Remix like this For Donkey Kong it would fit it so amazingly....Sad that they haven't...." and then that's when i heard the melody and figured out it was not just donkey kong but one of my favorite songs and parts of the game!!! :) It was fantastic. I love this Piece it makes me happy inside I enjoyed the Drums and feel that they were placed well. I agree that in some places there could be more ;) but over all I felt that you used them but didn't abuse them and it fit the piece fantastically :) I also loved the movement from instument to instrument :) it was very fluid and nice and I felt that you chose each instrument to convey the feeling at any particular part pretty much perfectly, the mysterious, the calm, the anxious, and all the beauty in between :) It was an astounding piece and deffinately going in my collection :) thank you Very much for this Beautifully epic mix :D

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Crulex
on 2010-09-17 08:40:01

Very cool, driven track. The synths were something I didn't expect, but I enjoyed it throughly. The intro built the track up very nicely and I'm glad we finally have an awesome and memorable remix of LJ's Saga. Well done on this one.

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Sandie Sandwicheadman
on 2010-09-16 22:58:01

I like this track, it has a cool vibe to it, and the synths do add something to it. I was a bit disappointed though; The original track has some fantastic drumming, especially that intro. I was hoping to hear something in that vein, it could have given some extra punch to the end of the track. However, the track itself is one of the better ones on the album, and I salute ya.

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DragonAvenger
on 2010-09-16 22:10:24

I love how this was arranged, it sounds like it could easily fit into a move. The mood is just right, and the percussion adds a lot of intensity. Great use of dissonance, as well. Loved this on the project, love it now.

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PranaDevil
on 2010-09-15 19:16:03

Signed up pretty much just to comment on this track as I feel it's the strongest out of the entire collection. (and I love pretty much every track in it, so that's saying something there)

It actually gives me a huge feel of something big about to happen, with the soft opening giving a kind of intro movie vibe, allowing a slow introduction to things as it slowly increases in power the further in the song goes. Building up until 1:55 when it gets darker and feels like it's at that point something should be found out.

It also gives me a strong pirate feel, don't know if that was intentional, but it actually led to me coming up with a huge pirate theme Mafia Scum game purely because I was sitting listening to this track and had some ideas of even creating a video that could potentially go with it.

Rare is it that a piece of music gives me that much inspiration as well, I often hear songs that I think would work well as a wrestling theme, or that would just be good for something, but it's not often I'll hear something that leads to me just having to sit down and work it out.

Wound up having to create the video twice purely because my computer had to be reset to system settings just after I'd finished it the first time due to a virus.

So hopefully I didn't overstep any boundaries, but I'll link the video here too (purely because I feel it also shows how well the song fits as a sort of introduction to something). The names that flash up part way through were the players of the game, which explains the stupidity of at least one of them.

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Hemophiliac
on 2010-09-15 16:55:08

Thanks, OA!

Please note:

any reference to Vader in this is purely coincidental, and I didn't even realize it until after I finished the piece. x.x

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OA
on 2010-09-15 12:21:19

I really enjoyed the arrangement on this, and the synths make it a lot more interesting and nuanced than a straight orchestral arrangement would be. Other highlights for me are the prominent piano playing, and the snare rolls. It really gives the track soem good drama and tension.

Overall good stuff, nice work, Hemo. :D

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djpretzel
on 2010-09-15 11:45:37

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, 1995, SNES)
Music by David Wise
Songs:
"Lockjaw's Saga (Lockjaw's Locker)"

Tags (8)


Genre:
Classical
Mood:
Dark
Instrumentation:
Brass, Clarinet, Electronic, Orchestral, Strings
Additional:
Origin > Resubmission

File Information


Name:
Donkey_Kong_Country_2_Tetanus_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,588,390 bytes
MD5:
b0b0d99082411c64a94de749a5cc6fa9
Bitrate:
222Kbps
Duration:
3:54
album cover
Published 2010-03-15
By OverClocked ReMix
Arrangement

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